July 05, 2020

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Progress Report on Biopharmaceutical Industry Contributions to the Global Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

• 109 active R&D projects for NTDs, of which over 90% are collaborative involving over 50 universities, non-governmental organizations and public and private sector institutes.
• Promising NTD pipeline with 7 compounds targeting American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), dengue, Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), lymphatic filariasis, rabies, and trachoma.
• The biopharmaceutical industry continues to deliver on its 2012 pledge of 14 billion donated treatments over 10 years to control or eliminate the ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and works with WHO and other partners to implement over 40 capacity building programs.

GENEVA, Switzerland, Apr. 18 /CSRwire/ - On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the World Health Organization's roadmap on NTDs and the London Declaration, IFPMA released today its latest report “Doing our part – Innovating to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases” that provides the most up-to-date record of active research and development (R&D) projects for the next generation of medicines and vaccines for NTDs[i].

The biopharmaceutical industry continues to make progress in cutting-edge R&D for NTDs[ii]. IFPMA member companies are involved in 109 active R&D projects to develop new or improved treatments and vaccines for NTDs, with NTDs breakthroughs (late stage testing, Phase III) of treatments and vaccines of 7 compounds anticipated to help tackle American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), dengue, Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), lymphatic filariasis, rabies, and trachoma.

To ensure that new or improved treatments and vaccines are discovered, despite low commercial incentives in the area of NTDs, the biopharmaceutical industry engages in multi-sectoral research models as well as partnering with over 50 organizations, including renowned universities, non-governmental organizations and public and private sector institutes. This sharing of expertise speeds up research, reduces risks and duplications, and ensures sustainable financing.

IFPMA presented its progress report as the global health community gathers[iii] to review what has been realized over the past 5 years and discusses plans on how to achieve the goal of control, eliminate and eradicate 10 NTDs. In 2012, IFPMA member companies pledged 14 billion donated treatments to control or eliminate the ten NTDs responsible for more than 90% of the global NTD burden. Year on year, biopharmaceutical companies have met their commitments; 1.5 billion treatments were donated in 2015 alone.

“Health is wealth. Nowhere is this more poignantly evident than in areas where NTDs are present and impede economic development. Taking steps to reduce the toll of NTDs takes long-term and wide-ranging commitment from governments, civil society and business. The research-based biopharmaceutical industry has stepped up to the plate, not only with historic levels of medicines donations, but also with long-term commitment to R&D” says Thomas Cueni, Director General at IFPMA.

Adding to their R&D efforts and donations, companies provide in-kind contributions that are specifically targeted to NTDs R&D. This includes sharing intellectual property assets such as compounds and compounds libraries for research purposes, giving access to research facilities, hosting scientists, and providing training. It also includes transfer of technology, and building technical expertise to develop, manufacture, register and distribute NTDs products.

IFPMA member companies are also involved in over 40 partnerships to assist countries in bolstering their medical infrastructures. Programs focus on building health services that are accessible and staffed with qualified healthcare workers to enable the delivery of medicines and vaccines down the last mile. They also provide people living in endemic areas information to help prevent the spread of infection, and infrastructure programs to address water, sanitation and hygiene[iv].

IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry's 2 million employees research, develop and provide medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health. IFPMA advocates policies and practices that encourage the discovery of and access to life-saving and life-enhancing medicines and vaccines, for people everywhere.

[i] The IFPMA report provides the most up-to-date record of active research and development (R&D) projects for the following NTDs: American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), Chikungunya, dengue, Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, mycetoma, onchocerciasis (river blindness), rabies, schistosomiasis, and trachoma.

[ii] The G-FINDER 2016 finds that “Industry investment in neglected disease R&D in 2015 was the highest ever recorded in the G-FINDER survey”. The pharmaceutical industry contributed USD 471 million to global R&D efforts, and is the only sector (compared to public and philanthropic sectors) to have recorded year-on-year growth for the last four years. This latest report covers 39 diseases (full list of neglected diseases on page 11).

[iii] NTD Summit, 19-22 April 2017, Geneva.

[iv] For more information about these programs, and to learn of many other initiatives, please visit the IFPMA Health Partnerships Directory (www.partnerships.ifpma.org), the most comprehensive international database for health development programs involving the R&D biopharmaceutical industry. Each partnership profile offers valuable insights into why a specific program was developed, and the ways in which it is helping to make a difference to communities around the world.

For more information, please contact:

Morgane De Pol Manager, Communications & Public Affairs
Phone: +41 22 338 32 20
Abigail Jones IFPMA communications consultant
Phone: + 32 475 41 09 76


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